She floated in the clear and cold river, in a still place, wide and deep, looking up at the Milky Way high above.
On the shore, sat upon a rotted log, the scavenged cassette player played an ancient Bathory tape through tinny speakers.
The dead and bright beauty of her home galaxy, and the dark and abrasive sounds of the music, the distance between her and town, soothed her.
She shivered in the water. Late August. The heat fading to a half life of autumn afternoons. The cold water not the sanctuary of hellish times now.
She felt herself weightless, as if floating to the sky. The nocturnal cocoon of the music, the endless stars. She could leave all the bastards behind.
Just a little longer she wanted to stay. No use for words when your alone. No need or want for kisses, or damnation of sex.
Stars are angry and bleed out into space. Exhausted light such beauty. The fed dragon sleeps quiet, the roar from shore stills her violence.
She could reach up and grab a whole handful of Andromeda. She could shine in the haunted, naked from a disassociated baptism, to night, to dreams.
Finally, she swam back to shore, and carried the cassette player back to her tent, to shiver and dream in her snug sleeping bag, free in solitude.
Stars, in their emptiness and cruelty, were true friends. No one else touched her face.